Hawaii Close To A Decision To Stop Marketing Tourism [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • This is amazing.

  • US should permit supersonic flight over domestic airspace

    75 PLdB is certainly acceptable. We know this because, as NASA titled one report, there have been Six Decades of Research on sonic boom. In fact, since the report came out in 2014, there have now been Seven Decades of Research.

    Some of the research was glorious, if ill-advised. In 1964, over a period of six months, the FAA dropped 1,253 sonic booms over Oklahoma City in a study known as, and I’m not joking here, Operation Bongo II. These were not baby booms. They were full-sized, unabated N-waves.

  • Hawaii is close to shutting down its tourism marketing agancy (Skift) because Hawaiians dislike outsiders. What will follow will be a fascinating natural experiment.

    To the extent tourism continues to boom, it will show that most of these agencies are boondoggles, unnecessary to promote the local economy. However if it comes on the precipice of an economic downtown, agencies in other jurisdictions can point to a drop in tourism (that would have happened anyway because of macro conditions) to justify their own existence. Of course they’ll be doing so at a time when tourism likely falls in their own jurisdictions even though they still exist…

  • Is the FAA killing off remote towers?

  • 87% of people steal stuff from hotels? With tissue boxes and soap dishes among the most popular…? Why?

  • GPT-4 is a huge advance over, for instance, the original release of ChatGPT. You need to learn how to use it – ask generic questions, get milquetoast answers. Ask the chatbot to be an expert, tell it whose style to answer you in and it gets a bit more useful. But the point isn’t what it can do today. The rate of progress is incredible – what it’ll do in a couple of years will be staggering. But already it’s being used for trip planning.

    @what.mel Well, thanks? @notionhq #notionai ♬ BO$$ CHICK – Saweetie

  • A British Airways pilot calmed the nerves of a flyer by drawing a picture of how planes fly.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hawaii is indeed a very interesting place…having visited recently twice and visited all five major islands, I observed much. Many of the more native Hawaiian’s were very friendly but those obvious not Hawaiian but local residents were often not very friendly. I took notice that while Hawaiians were very environmentally conscious, they vehemently stopped a ferry project in its tracks that would have greatly impacted the number of hopper flights necessary. I wonder how much Hawaiian Airlines had to do with this. I also noticed that chickens that escaped after a hurricane were allowed to roam free…and have become out of control as to population….taking care of this issue would have been practical and not interfering with normal animal habitat…in fact allowing the domestically raised birds out impacted the environment negatively.

    We also had an experience our first trip where a B&B we had booked months prior contacted me the day before we left saying the rooms were under construction and would not be ready for our arrival! They placed us at a friends house but that combined with the multiple page list of ‘rules’ during our stay was notable and strange…these folks were not native Hawaiian but residents.

    I believe in being respectful to residents when I visit, but it does seem odd that some places that have no other real source of outside business income can be so hostile towards others yet claim to be among those that are the most progressive, loving and accepting. It is clearly not a feeling that runs deep with many on the island. However, the reality is that places like this NEED tourism to prevent ridiculously high community costs and resulting taxes. In the absence of industry…what is the plan? I suspect many on the islands feel they should be supported by others but then again this state of being seems to be present in many of our cities as well so it isn’t fair to criticize only those on the islands.

  2. Regarding super-sonic flight, the guy is expressing an opinion that 75 dB is acceptable. What is “acceptable” to him might not be “acceptable” to the general public. The FAA has set 38 dB (I believe) as the target. Current test-bed aircraft are about 10 dB higher at best. (Boom would not even be close and would likely be limited to over-ocean routes.)

    Regarding stealing things from hotels, it was baseball great Yogi Berra who said: the towels in that hotel were so thick I could hardly close my suitcase.

  3. I always thought a lot of marketing and advertising was a waste of money. If you have a new product then I can see getting out and letting people know about it but does Hawaii, LV and a lot of popular (or too popular) places or products need to waste money on advertising?

    And do people really see an ad for a car and go “yup, I’m buying that tomorrow?” People often keep cars a decade or more and for most people they aren’t a spur of the moment purchase.

  4. Houses also cost ~$19K in 1963. Though I suspect we will see a housing price correction in the next year or so.

  5. On a recent trip to Hawaii, it was very clear that locals really don’t like tourists – and that’s both locals and native Hawaiians. The resorts treat you very well, but even they can keep you on the tourists reservation, not telling you about things you’ve read about and need a little help finding. The Road to Hana is pretty, but full of angry signs citing BS “laws” and “treaties” that aren’t applicable, torn down mile markers so you can’t find things, free public parking areas blocked or locals charging a “toll”, locked gates to public land that only locals can access, etc. There are articles in the local papers about how they miss Covid, because they got the place to themselves. But if you look behind the beautiful local scenery, you see dire poverty. It looks a lot like rural West Virginia and Kentucky with the accompanying attitudes – Outsiders stay away! They’re basically Hawaiian Hillbillies – but keep sending that government check. Message received, there are lots of other places in the Pacific that welcome responsible tourists – and that cost a lot less money once you get there.

  6. The U.S. backed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy by American sugar interests was a really dirty deal, though better than some of the violent colonial occupations Europeans and Japanese were doing at the time. It was so bad that President Cleveland refused to annex the islands, leaving the issue for a “military necessity” justification by the next administration. The Hawaiians never forgot this treatment, nor how the islands were marginalized afterwards. (For example, I’ve got some of the 1883 coins minted by the Kingdom. One of the first things the U.S. government did was collect as many as possible and melt them down.)

    Of course the situation has become far more complicated since then, and there are tremendous social and economic pressures within the islands. I enjoyed visiting, but compared to other places I’ve seen in Oceania, like Samoa and Tonga, it’s far from the advertised ideal. For history, remnants of an interesting culture and a beautiful landscape yes, as a tropical paradise, no. And the food prices are astronomical too.

    I suppose it is like visiting any tourist area outside the Mainland–one can have fun without opening your eyes to the reality on the ground. What would really help the place is repealing the Jones Act, which makes shipping far more expensive than it should be (the same for America’s other island possession). But Washington is a long way off and Hawaiians have few votes, so they remain marginalized. And often very angry.

  7. Is that a pic of the Hyatt Regency in Kanaapali? I can’t tell if I recognize the hotel I was just at or every single Hawaiian resort looks exactly the same

  8. If hotels crack down on people taking toiletries like toothpaste, shampoo, and soap then all most people will do is make sure those get used during their stay and need to be replaced anyways. Same with toilet paper and tissues. Costs wont change that much for hotels for those items.

  9. C_M…you should ask yourself why so many people come to Hawaii and love it. Your opinions say more about who you are than Hawaii. You cherry picked and exaggerated isolated incidents which can be done about anywhere. Lots of wonderful, successful people live and thrive in Hawaii and the Aloha spirit is still here. Hawaii got swamped by the “SWA effect” as it was opening after Covid. Maui got hit the hardest and there were certainly some hard feelings when swarms of Covid revenge travelers came and a small percentage were, quite frankly, disrespectful to say the least. Hence the pushback from a very small percentage of locals.
    Bottom line is there is plenty of good in Hawaii, but the angry chip on their shoulder folks never see it.

  10. I just spent some time in Hawaii and found the “locals” (meaning white mainland transplants) to be especially unfriendly there. It’s an interesting contradiction that a state with a massive, worsening homelessness problem would willfully push away one of its only large sources of income, but then again I guess it makes sense given the Malthusian politics of many of its residents (meaning white mainland transplants).

    Nevermind the politics of Skift which, as usual, presents anti-tourism stories uncritically. It’s amazing that they’re still able to masquerade as an “industry” publication, when many of their writers quite clearly despise the very notion of people moving freely around the world.

  11. I find it hard to believe 87% take things like TP and Tissues.

    Toiletries are single use. I hope they replace on every changeover. Also pens the room, with the hotel name on them, are they OK to take?

  12. Rich white liberals from California, Seattle, and New York have made Hawaii abysmal. Literally, they are the people from the show White Lotus- narcissistic, entitled, and dis respectful. I’d hate white people too if those were people who I had deal with every day.

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